Only a little behind Repo Men, She's Out of My League grossed $6.015 million following a relatively low 38.5 percent drop according to Box Office Mojo. The teen comedy starring Jay Baruchel and Alice Eve averaged a mediocre $2,033 per theater. The film's total currently stands at $19.9 million.
The Paul Greengrass-Matt Damon Iraq War thriller Green Zone, which cost $100 million to produce and millions more to market, dropped 58.3 percent from last week, earning $5.9 million and averaging a measly $1,985 per screen – thus falling behind a not very well-received teen comedy with no stars. Total to date: $24.4 million. In a week, Green Zone will quite possibly be gone from the top-ten chart.
At #7, Martin Scorsese's thriller Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, added another $4.7 million (down 41.6 percent) for a cume of $115.7 million. James Cameron's Avatar was next with $4 million (down 38.7 percent) and a total of $736.8 million. The 3D sci-fier has been out for 14 weeks.
Our Family Wedding, starring Forest Whitaker and America Ferrera, actually grossed more than Robert Pattinson's Remember Me even though it's playing at 600 fewer theaters. Our Family Wedding drew $3.8 million (down 50.8 percent) versus Remember Me's $3.3 million, which suffered the weekend's second worst drop-off among the top twelve movies, 59.2 percent. Most of Pattinson's Twilight Saga fans clearly opted to stay away from a movie in which their idol gets killed.
Rounding out the top twelve were Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer with $2.1 million (+71.4 percent) and Antoine Fuqua'ss' Brooklyn's Finest, starring Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke, with $1.6 million (down 62.5 percent).
Thanks to the addition of 595 screens, The Ghost Writer was the only movie among the holdovers to actually post an increase in revenues. Brooklyn's Finest suffered the steepest drop-off (-62.5 percent).
Photos: She's Out of My League (Darren Michaels / DW-Paramount); Remember Me (Myles Aronowitz / Summit Entertainment); Green Zone (Jasin Boland / Universal)
Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (top); Zachary Gordon and director Thor Freudenthal on the set of the sleeper hit Diary of a Wimpy Kid (middle); Gerard Butler, Jennifer Aniston in The Bounty Hunter (bottom)
Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland grossed an estimated $34.5 million at the North America box office this weekend as per Box Office Mojo. The 3D fantasy adventure dropped a perfectly acceptable 45 percent from a week ago, easily topping the box office chart for the third consecutive weekend. To a large extent thanks to costlier 3D/IMAX tickets Alice in Wonderland has earned an impressive $265.8 million.
Due to solid Saturday and Sunday business, when parents feel coerced to take their children to the movies, Diary of a Wimpy Kid landed at #2 with $21.8 million and a good $7,085 average at 3,077 screens. Directed by Thor Freudenthal, and featuring Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron, the $15 million kiddie flick focuses on the travails of a middle-school student.
Despite the presence of major stars like Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, Andy Tennant's The Bounty Hunter had to settle for third place with $21 million. Considering how poorly received the romantic comedy has been – most critics have hated it – a $6,831 per-screen average isn't bad at all.
For comparison's sake, last weekend the Matt Damon Iraq War thriller Green Zone bowed with an average of $4,765 per screen, the Robert Pattinson romantic drama Remember Me had $3,657, and the teen comedy She's Out of My League $3,307.
But even though The Bounty Hunter's debut-weekend figures weren't weak, it's unlikely that the Aniston-Butler movie will get even close to recovering its $40 million price tag at the North American box office. (The movie would need to make about twice as much for the studio to break even, as exhibitors usually keep 40-50 percent of the grosses, not to mention marketing costs.)
Starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker, Repo Men had a dismal opening at #4 with a mere $6.015 million and a meager $2,440 per-screen average. Miguel Sapochnik's futuristic action thriller won't get even close to recovering its relatively modest $32 million budget (unless the international market and home video/pay-per-view come to the rescue). That's more bad news for Universal, whose $100 million Green Zone has thus far grossed an underwhelming $24.7 million, and hasn't been doing all that great overseas, either.
Photos: Alice in Wonderland (Disney Enterprises); Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Rob McEwan / 20th Century Fox); The Bounty Hunter (Barry Wetcher / Columbia Pictures)
The Kristen Stewart-Dakota Fanning vehicle The Runaways, the IMAX documentary Hubble 3D, the Noah Baumbach-Ben Stiller collaboration Greenberg, the Swedish crime thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Raymond De Felitta's comedy City Island, and Marco Bellocchio's historical drama Vincere were the films opening in limited release this weekend in the United States.
Among those, The Runaways posted the highest gross, $803K – but the rock biopic also had the highest number of screens by far: 244. As a result, its $3,291 per screen average was – also by far – the lowest. Though not exactly “poor,” the Runaways average was below par especially for a movie in limited release; it doesn't bode all that well for the Floria Sigismondi-directed effort, which opens wide in April.
At only 39 screens, Hubble 3D earned $453K for a $11,615 average. That, of course, has been helped by higher 3D/IMAX ticket prices.
At 3 screens, Greenberg, the tale of a New Yorker who moves to Los Angeles following a mid-life crisis, grossed an impressive $120K for an equally impressive $40K per screen average. So far this year, only Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer has opened to better per-screen figures.
Does that mean Greenberg will become a major arthouse hit? Well, not necessarily. After five weeks, The Ghost Writer has taken in $6.8 million even though it's now playing at more than 800 screens. Baumbach's own Margot at the Wedding also opened to huge per-screen figures only to gross a paltry $1.9 million back in 2007.
(Via indieWIRE: The ugly feud between respected Village Voice critic J. Hoberman and the New York Press' Armond White, who, in his [negative] review of Greenberg, accuses Hoberman of offering “traitorous praise” to Paul Greengrass' Iraq War thriller Green Zone, which, according to White, is “encouraging insurrection in the American military.”)
Starring European Film Award nominee Noomi Rapace as a computer hacker assisting a disgraced journalist (Michael Nyqvist) crack a decades-old case, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo grossed an impressive $340K at 34 screens, averaging a solid $10K.
City Island, winner of the Audience Award at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, took in $35K at two screens. Average per screen: $17,500, which is fine but hardly downright amazing for a movie playing at only two screens. The family comedy-drama stars Alan Arkin, Julianna Margulies, and Andy Garcia.
At two New York houses, Marco Bellocchio's well-regarded Vincere grossed a passable $18K, for a $9K average. Had it been playing at 50 or 100 screens, that average would have been really good. But at only two screens, it's really not all that great. A drama about Benito Mussolini's mistress and son, Vincere stars Giovanna Mezzogiorno and Filippo Timi.
Photos: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Music Box Films); The Runaways (Apparition); Greenberg (Focus Features)
Pierce Brosnan in The Ghost Writer
Roman Polanski's thriller The Ghost Writer, winner of the Best Director Silver Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival, earned an estimated $2.1 million at the North American box office this weekend.
Playing at 819 theaters – 595 more than last weekend – at the start of its fifth week, The Ghost Writer soared in terms of revenues, but disappointed somewhat in terms of per-screen average: only $2,564. Unless those screens are all located in really tiny theaters, that probably means the film's expansion will end at those 819 screens.
Polanski's latest has thus far earned $6.8 million in the U.S. and Canada. That's not bad when compared to the director's Oliver Twist ($2.08 million in 2005), but it isn't great, either, especially considering the film's remarkable first couple of weeks and the fact that it has received mostly glowing notices from US critics. For comparison's sake, The Pianist grossed $31.5 million in 2002.
Like other previous Polanski efforts, The Ghost Writer will likely do much better business overseas. To date, it's about 50-50. But Oliver Twist went on to gross more than $40 million internationally, while The Pianist took in $87.5 million.
The tale of a corrupt former British prime minister (based on Tony Blair) with lots of decomposing skeletons in his past, The Ghost Writer stars Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, Kim Cattrall, Timothy Hutton, Olivia Williams, Tom Wilkinson, James Belushi, and Eli Wallach.
Photo: The Ghost Writer (Guy Farrandis / Summit Entertainment)